Conversations Worth Having

The women carrying me through the middle years.

Tara Lingeman
Middle-Pause

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

I had known these three women since our early 20s when our lives held infinite possibilities and few responsibilities. Looking back, one would think those years would have been all lightness. But the mind is a funny thing. It creates problems even when there aren’t any. It turns molehills into mountains.

Now, here we were—lives full with careers, children, home repairs, and health insurance. Recently, we started meeting every other Tuesday evening. We realized that when we put effort into connecting regularly, we were happier people. Most often, our meetings were filled with raucous laughter—the kind that makes your belly hurt. Today was different.

“They’ve given him four to six months.”

Melanie was telling us her dad’s chemo had failed. I knew her father. He was a painter, an old hippy, a devoted father and husband, and a fun man.

She spoke about not knowing how to spend her remaining time with him. Did she plan final trips or activities or spend time with him at home? What if she didn’t say all the things she wanted to before he went? What did she even want to say?

Vanessa, whose father died suddenly a few years back, was quiet. She was the only one of us four who had experienced losing a…

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Tara Lingeman
Middle-Pause

Seeker, Lover of Stories, Writer, and Teacher. Author of a memoir about searching and finding and a novel, Salamandra. Find both @ https://linktr.ee/taraling.